T-Birds Can't Overcome Second Period Deficit in Bridgeport
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Coming into Saturday's matchup with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (5-5-1-0), the Springfield Thunderbirds (7-1-0-2) looked to increase their win streak to seven games and point streak to ten games. Despite three power play chances in the third period, the T-Birds could not overcome a second period deficit and fell in regulation for the first time in a 5-2 loss.
The Sound Tigers entered play trying to atone for a loss despite getting 42 shots on goal on Friday night. It appeared they took a 1-0 lead on a power play, but a Michael Dal Colle shot was deemed to hit the crossbar. The play was whistled a goal at ice level before a Sound Tiger swept the rebound into the empty net. That call would ultimately get reversed after an instant replay review.
Even though the T-Birds caught a break in that sequence, it was only a temporary reprieve, as Dal Colle scored on within a minute of his near-goal, beating Chris Driedger and giving Bridgeport a 1-0 lead 11:35 into the first period.
The Thunderbirds' power play answered again less than three minutes later, as Dryden Hunt tied it up at 1-1 with his team-leading fourth power play strike of the year. Jayce Hawryluk and Anthony Greco picked up the helpers when Greco's right-wing shot hit Hawryluk and skittered to Hunt between the circles.
In the second period, the Sound Tigers scored three unanswered goals. The first goal came at 8:40 off the stick of Mike Sislo, his fourth of the season. Tom Kuhnhackl and Parker Wotherspoon both picked up assists on the play.
Seven minutes later and just over 30 seconds after Joel Lowry was called for tripping to give the Sound Tigers a 5-on-3 advantage, Josh Ho-Sang picked up his first goal of the season, jabbing a rebound past Driedger at 13:27.
The final tally of the period came at 18:25 when Kuhnhackl picked up his second point and first goal of the night, powering to the net and jamming the puck through Driedger, giving Bridgeport a 4-1 lead.
With 7:43 left in the third period on the power play, the Thunderbirds finally answered on the man advantage when Joel Lowry tipped a shot from Patrick Bajkov at the right point. Lowry's goal extended his point streak to seven games. Jacob MacDonald earned the secondary assist to make it 4-2 at 12:26.
Bridgeport would not be denied though, and just 23 seconds later, Kuhnhackl won a foot race with MacDonald and scored a goal of his own, beating Driedger with a slick backhand deke from point blank range to finish off the scoring..
Driedger finished his night with 29 saves in the effort. Springfield's team-record six-game win streak and nine-game point streak came to a close with the loss.
Up next, the Thunderbirds hit the road to Allentown for a matchup with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the PPL Center on Friday, Nov. 9. Puck drop is slated for just after 7:05 p.m. ET. Springfield will then travel to Hershey for a tangle with the Bears on Saturday, Nov. 10.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about 2018-19 Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships. Packages include a wide range of benefits, including the lowest prices for the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.
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